Arc National Center on Criminal Justice & Disability
While at The Arc US Convention I was able to learn more about The Arc’s new National
Center on Criminal Justice and Disability. We have been working with them since the
creation of the Center on cases here in Illinois where individuals with intellectual and
developmental disabilities (I/DD) have been caught up in our criminal justice system.
We are now considering legislation to correct some of the injustices here in Illinois for
people with I/DD.
The Arc of U.S. has been awarded a two-year grant by the U.S. Department of Justice,
Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to develop a national center on criminal justice and
disability, with a focus on intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). This is the
first national effort of its kind to bring together both victim and suspect/offender issues
involving people with I/DD under one roof. According to the National Crime Victim
Survey of 2010, the victimization rate is twice as high for individuals with disabilities as
compared to those without disabilities.
New Video from the National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability (NCCJD)
“Too many times people with disabilities come into contact with the criminal justice
system and the outcome is anything but just.”
The opening lines of NCCJD’s new Pathways to Justice Introduction Video powerfully
highlight the broad miscarriage of justice faced by people with disabilities within
America’s criminal justice system. Providing true stories from victims and suspects
with I/DD and family members, this four minute video introduces the Pathways to
Justice Model and training – a program being piloted by five chapters to help build
the capacity of the criminal justice system to effectively identify, serve, and protect
people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Since the video’s
recent debut at The Arc’s national convention in New Orleans, chapters have
responded positively and plan to use it at their conventions, as well as with local
law enforcement and criminal justice professionals, as a way to effectively
demonstrate the need for quality training on disability issues. Visit NCCJD’s site or The Arc’s YouTube page to view the video. Let us know how you plan to use the
video in your community/state by emailing email@example.com.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423